• Rethinking Risk and Ageing: Extending Working Lives

      Powell, Jason; Taylor, Paul J.; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2016-07-04)
      This paper critically examines the development of recent policy and theoretical issues concerning the ‘extension of working lives’ for older people in the United Kingdom. It grounds its analysis in ideas from the ‘risk society’ thesis (Beck, 1992) to explore how the matrix of population ageing, job and pension changes impinge on shifting emphasis on increasing the retirement age coupled with individualizing pensions from State provision to a focus on self-responsibility via private provision. This neo-liberal re-positioning of extending work and pension policy has implications for the management of risk for older people in the UK. The paper explores the impact of population ageing on Government ideas associated with social policy relating to extending working lives. It concludes with an assessment on the lessons policy makers and social policy analysts can learn from such shifts and impact on the social construction of age.
    • Shifting Models of Energy Companies towards Green Economy in Europe

      Fernandez, Rosa M; University of Chester
      The traditional model of European energy company has been characterised by big entities that usually play a relatively important role as national champions in terms of market share, assets value, vertical integration, political influence and employment volumes, among other factors. However, last decade has seen how these big dinosaurs are losing market power in favour of new actors. On one side Russian and Chinese competitors have started showing interest in the Western European energy sector, and they are developing purchasing strategies to acquire part of the business in different countries, taking advantage of the vulnerable financial position that many of these companies suffer. On the other side having been unable to change their business models away from the focus on fossil fuels into the renewable energies sector has made traditional companies lose market share in favour of a new model of companies, smaller in terms of assets but quite focused on a market segment with a privileged institutional support, particularly thanks to the European Union targets for 2020 on renewable energy. This chapter uses the framework of green economy as the one that approaches macroeconomic issues through innovative ways, promoting green investments through the most adequate regulatory measures, and considering green energy as one of the sectors where these investments should be focused. Bearing this in mind, the chapter will try to point out the existing constraints to reach the new model of development (sustainable development, as promoted by a green economy) and also the barriers that energy companies impose themselves through old fashioned strategies that do not take into consideration the wider demands from a much larger group of stakeholders in a changing society. It will also address the changing governance framework caused by recent political events such as Brexit and the shifting EU institutional discourse towards 2030 targets.